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STEPPING RAZOR - RED X

Canada, 1992 (MIFF 1993, Documentaries)

Director: Nicholas Campbell

From his beginnings in the late sixties with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer in the Wailers, through his stormy vault to stardom as the leader of a reggae movement that swept the world in the 1970s, to his murder in 1987, Peter Tosh defied expectations at every turn. Stepping Razor explores the tangled drama of Tosh's life and music (shedding some life on the mystery of his unsolved murder) and, in the process, creates a vivid portrait of a brilliant wordsmith whose music slammed apartheid, upheld the power of ganja and was never afraid to call down hypocrisy in his own backyard.

Allowed access by his family to Tosh's personal effects, the filmmakers were startled to find a series of diary recordings which he made in the last years of his life. Using excerpts from these previously unreleased autobiographical ('Red X') tapes, the film delves deep into Tosh's worldview and the conditions that produced it. As interviews, dramatic recreations, live concert and rare archival footage reconstruct his rise from Jamaica's poverty stricken Trenchtown in Kingston, to international celebrity, Tosh's own words provide a bone-chilling reality check.

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